CONTACT: Jami Goldstein
Art Unites Cbus Murals to be Displayed at Locations Around Franklin County
Huntington Center to reconfigure mural display and remain key downtown location, other Franklin County arts and public venues join effort
COLUMBUS, Ohio — With financial support from the American Electric Power Foundation and Huntington, the Greater Columbus Arts Council will install nine exhibitions this fall of the temporary murals painted on plywood earlier this year in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The free, outdoor exhibitions throughout Columbus will consist of more than 100 murals, curated into sets of various sizes, installed at the following locations:
- Coleman Point on Civic Center Drive
- Easton, along Fenlon Street by Macy’s
- Huntington Center, 41 S. High St., Downtown
- King Arts Complex, 867 Mt. Vernon Ave., King-Lincoln Bronzeville
- Lincoln Theatre, 769 E. Long St., King-Lincoln Bronzeville
- MPACC BoxPark, 925 Mt. Vernon Ave., King-Lincoln Bronzeville
- McConnell Arts Center, 777 Evening St., Worthington
- Ohio History Connection, 800 E. 17th, Columbus, near South Linden
- Short North, Greenwood Park at Fourth and High (to be installed Nov. 9)
Most exhibitions will be installed the last week in October and remain up until early 2021. Other locations may be added in the future.
Huntington, in partnership with Hines, the Huntington Center management company, was one of the largest supporters of paying artists to create murals immediately following the protests in June. On Oct. 8, all their murals will be reconfigured to display along High Street and in the public plaza to the north of the building.
“The Art Unites Cbus murals became a unifying light and voice for the community by opening a doorway to shared learning about injustices and inequalities that persist in our nation and in our city. These celebrated artists brought beauty to Columbus with a message of hope and healing during a time when so many people were seeking connection,” said Sue Zazon, regional president for Huntington. “We’re honored to support the Deliver Black Dreams project to preserve these important symbols of hope in our quest to eliminate racism and advance social equity. This public art will continue to inspire conversations that bring people together with new understanding so we can drive positive, lasting change.”
On June 1, 2020, after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police and the resulting protests, CAPA and the Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) partnered to launch #ArtUnitesCbus, an initiative to employ Columbus-based visual artists to paint murals on the plywood installed over the broken windows at the Ohio Theatre (39 E. State St.) and the Arts Council office (182 E. Long St.).
After the launch of the initiative, a number of other businesses engaged Columbus visual artists to create murals throughout the city, most notably businesses throughout the Short North and in front of the Huntington Center on High Street. By the end of June, 2020 more than 200 murals had been created on plywood throughout the city.
The murals messages ranged from support for Black Lives Matter to tributes to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, to messages of love and hope.
A website was launched, www.artunitescbus.com, to create an online exhibition to catalog the #ArtUnitesCbus murals created across Columbus. As businesses began to repair broken windows, remove the plywood and reopen, the Arts Council and CAPA joined with the artists and other partners such as Hines and the Short North Alliance to document the murals and the inspiration of the artists who created them. The Arts Council has committed to preserving and exhibiting the murals and encouraging dialogue about the Black Lives Matter movement as our city, and our country, works toward racial equity.
“We’re committed to creating positive social change both within and outside the walls of AEP, and partnering with others help make our communities better for everyone,” said Nick Akins, AEP chairman, president and CEO. “Preserving and exhibiting these murals is vitally important to help continue the dialogue and to serve as a reminder that there is still much work to be done to address racial inequity.”
The Art Unites Cbus temporary mural exhibitions will make up one component of public art and visual expression for a new aspirational racial equity campaign, Deliver Black Dreams. Deliver Black Dreams will use public art as a launch point for a sustained and future-oriented approach to achieving racial equity in Columbus, one that helps the community reimagine and design a city where everyone can live abundantly.
Created by Marshall Shorts, designer, principal at Artfluential and co-creator of Creative Control Fest, Deliver Black Dreams is a campaign OF, BY and FOR Black people. It is a campaign that seeks long-term change in the culture, and a future where Black people and those who love them are free to choose their destiny, free from oppression. Read more about Deliver Black Dreams here.
Funding for the public art and visual expression components of Deliver Black Dreams is provided by the City of Columbus, American Electric Power Foundation, Huntington and Grange Insuranc, with additional support from the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Art Unites Cbus project and Orange Barrel Media.
Mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council: To support and advance the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus. www.gcac.org
The Greater Columbus Arts Council receives major financial support from the City of Columbus, Franklin County Commissioners and the Ohio Arts Council.
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